“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
I have been thinking about this verse a lot lately. I believe God has been reminding me of this Scripture because I’ve been whining a lot to Him about some things that I would like to see changed. I’ve been complaining to Him but not seriously committing these situations to prayer. Oh, I’ll do lip service when the situation bumps me a little and gets to be too much: “Lord, please do this and do that! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!” But I pray and then walk away hoping He takes care of it until the next time it bothers me.
My faith allows me to pray to Him because I do believe He exists. Yet Scripture tells us even the demons believe that–and shudder (James 2:19)! Faith demands I move beyond simply believing that He exists. I must believe Who He says He is as expressed in this Scripture — a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. You can’t believe that He exists without believing that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. They go together! They are inextricably connected. Religion says, “If I just say the right prayers and do the right things, then I’ll get what I want.” To seek Him earnestly means to seek Him intentionally, fervently, purposefully and sincerely. It is absent of superficiality and religiosity. He longs for relationship! He is not a vending machine that we pop something into and hope what we want comes out, and if it doesn’t then we shake and kick it until it does.
Sometimes, God answers our prayers immediately. Sometimes we wait! But in the waiting, He wants to know IF we will still pursue Him. Sometimes it seems as if He hides Himself. He wants to be pursued, sought after. He wants us to want to be with Him. He wants us to want Him! He is the Lover of our souls, but He is not cheap. David said, “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24 NIV). The ultimate price was paid at Calvary. He died for us even while we were still sinners. Yet our relationship “costs” us something. It costs us to discipline our flesh and to seek Him. Calvary paid it ALL; however, this is a relationship, and relationships are two-sided.
In Scripture, there are many examples of God hiding Himself. One example is in Song of Solomon. This book is considered by many to be a book about the relationship between Jesus (Bridegroom) and us, the Church (Bride).
“On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’ Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go” (Song of Solomon 3:1-4 ESV).
The Bride was fervently looking for the One Whom her soul loves. She did not stop until she found Him. Likewise, in praying about and for something, we should not give up until we find Him. He may or may not give me the answer I want to the specific prayer I’ve been praying, but the answer lies within Him.
He is my answer! Everything I need is found in Him! And He won’t flippantly give of Himself in intimacy to the casual seeker. He will only be found by those who seek Him with all their hearts, longing for no other substitutes! So I am on a quest to diligently seek Him, not just for the answers to my prayers but for relationship, secure in the knowledge that He will reward me how ever He sees fit! I challenge you to do the same!